Former sheriff’s audit released

Staff Report

The Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen released the 2014 audit of the former Harlan County Sheriff Marvin Lipfird’s office on Friday.

According to a press release, the former sheriff’s audit contained six comments from the auditors, including statements that the office should not have spent fee receipts or drug account funds on disallowed disbursements, should have strengthened controls over pre-approved overtime request forms and that controls over the drug account should have been strengthened.

The release states the former sheriff should pay back disallowed funds.

“The former Harlan County Sheriff disbursed funds from the official fee account and the drug account for disallowed expenses,” states the release. “The former Sheriff should personally reimburse the 2014 official fee account a total of $2,420 and the drug account a total of $1,854 for these disallowed expenses. Once the reimbursements are made, the former Sheriff should then pay any additional excess fees to the Fiscal Court.”

The release also mentions a problem with overtime request form.

“Not all overtime hours earned and paid were properly supported by an overtime request form. It was also noted that overtime request forms that had been submitted were not marked approved and were not always signed by a supervisor,” the release states. “The former Sheriff, or a designee, should have verified all overtime hours earned were properly supported by a pre-approved overtime request form prior to payment.”

According to the release, greater controls should have been placed on the drug account.

The release states “during the course of the audit, we noted detectives were authorized to make ATM withdrawals in the amount of $1,500 from the drug fund bank account. In addition, deputies were permitted to make miscellaneous cash purchases in the amount of $884 from available drug buy money on hand. This condition is a result of a lack of internal controls over drug account disbursements. These occurrences weaken internal controls over disbursements in which the former Sheriff, or his designee, should have authorized disbursements in advance.”

The former sheriff should have discontinued the practice of ATM card withdrawals or improved internal control procedures and discontinued the practice of deputies making purchases made from cash money on hand, according to the release.

Other comments included in the release note a lack of adequate segregation of duties, cell phone disbursements resulting in $1,787 of disallowed disbursements and a need for improved internal controls over budgeting procedures to comply with resolution.

The former sheriff supplied no response to the auditor’s office on any of the comments.

Staff Report

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